Robert Mayo

Robert P. Mayo (March 15, 1916 – January 25, 2003) was a director of the United States' Office of Management and Budget from January 22, 1969 until June 30, 1970. He was the last person to lead this agency under its former name of the Bureau of the Budget.

Bob Mayo
President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
In office
July 29, 1970 – April 1, 1981
Preceded byCharles Scanlon
Succeeded bySilas Keehn
18th Director of the Bureau of the Budget
In office
January 22, 1969 – June 30, 1970
PresidentRichard Nixon
Preceded byCharles Zwick
Succeeded byGeorge P. Shultz (Office of Management and Budget)
Personal details
Born(1916-03-15)March 15, 1916
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
DiedJanuary 25, 2003(2003-01-25) (aged 86)
Elgin, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
EducationUniversity of Washington, Seattle (BA, MA)

Mayo was born in Seattle, Washington, the only child of Carl Asa and Edna Alberta (Nelson) Mayo.[1] He attained a bachelor's degree in business from the University of Washington in 1937 and earned a master's degree in economics from the school in 1938. He found employment with the Washington State Tax Commission as an auditor; he was soon promoted to become the organization's director of research.[2]

In 1941, Mayo joined the staff of the Department of Treasury. He began his work as an economic analyst. He eventually rose to the rank of assistant to the Secretary of Treasury for debt management. He left government in 1961 to serve as vice president of Continental Illinois Bank with former colleague David M. Kennedy, who worked with him in the Department of Treasury. Mayo supervised the public affairs and trust investment operations of the bank. He also was a leader in efforts to develop black capitalism in Chicago.[3] [4]

Known for his detail orientation and conservative views on spending from his time in Washington, Mayo was chosen in 1969 by incoming President Richard Nixon to develop his initial policy budgets; Mayo was considered to be a proponent of Nixon's black capitalism programs, which were designed to boost the economic fortunes of African Americans through loans and investment in black-owned business.[5] Mayo rubbed Nixon the wrong way and also bored the president during long meetings. Nixon soon took to avoiding meetings with him altogether until Mayo demanded a meeting, which the president granted in March 1970. At the meeting, Mayo made the mistake of complaining that John Ehrlichman, who was Nixon's chief domestic adviser, was ostensibly intruding on his turf and threatened to resign if his relations with the president didn’t improve, leading Nixon to conclude "I guess Mayo has got to go."[6] In July 1970, Nixon appointed Mayo as head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, which allowed him to return to his adopted hometown. He retired from this role in 1981. At the time of his death in 2003, he was a board member of the Chicago YMCA.[7]


  1. ^ "Mayo, Robert P(orter)". Current Biography. The H. W. Wilson Company. 1970. p. 282.
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  3. ^ "Mayo, Robert P(orter)".Current Biography. The H. W. Wilson Company. 1970. p. 282.
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  6. ^ Matusow, Allen J. (1998). Nixon's Economy: Booms, Busts, Dollars, & Votes. Lawrence, Kan.: University Press of Kansas. p. 11. ISBN 0-7006-0888-5. OCLC 37975682.
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Political offices
Preceded by
Charles Zwick
Director of the Bureau of the Budget
Succeeded by
George P. Shultz
as Director of the Office of Management and Budget